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Update and Video Tour of the Clash Between Palm Beach County and Westgate Tabernacle

The slugging match between Palm Beach County and Westgate Tabernacle in West Palm is nearly a decade old, but the two sides keep trading punches, including a flurry this past week. Will taking Westgate Tabernacle's Dumpster be the knockout blow?

For a primer on the two combatants, check out the video above, a trailer for a documentary by Mark Crupi.

After the jump, we'll check out the action this past week and look forward to the showdown to come this weekend.

On Monday, Juice reported that code enforcement director Terry Verner, the same county official whose staff had been trying to shut down Westgate Tabernacle, had been stashing his ex-brother-in-law at the center at the very same time. Verner's ex-wife, Cyndy Stephens, refused to confirm that report, but Westgate attorney Barry Silver insists she made the allegation to him.

But it appears Stephens told this story to more than just Silver. On Tuesday, the Palm Beach Post's Page2Live reported that Stephens made the same claim to Crupi, the documentary maker.

But local government forces struck a blow of their own this week when the West Palm Beach Sanitation Department removed the Dumpster from the church grounds, due to unpaid bills. WPTV-5 had the report:

I haven't been able to reach Bishop Avis Hill at the church because the listed phone number doesn't work. (Did they miss paying that bill too?)

But the church's attorney, Silver, just told me that he and the church have more fight left in 'em. By tomorrow, he hopes to file a new lawsuit against the county for racketeering, perjury, and obstruction of justice. Next week at L'Dor Va-Dor synagogue, Silver (who is a rabbi there) will show Crupi's documentary, Avis vs. Goliath, and sing a song he wrote about the church's tangle with county government. Westgate will show the film on March 13.

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Thomas Francis

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